Published Jul 12, 2010Musician, artist and Bohemian icon Tuli Kupferberg died today (July 12) in New York. He was 86.
A well-known writer and poet, he founded the Fugs in 1964. At a time when almost all mainstream musicians were half of his age, Kupferberg dubbed himself "the world's oldest rock star" and went on to record a string off influential albums with the band before their breakup in 1969.
During the group's '60s heydey, the Fugs were outspoken opponents of the Vietnam War. The band reformed in 1985 and retained the political message, in 1994 staging a concert called the Real Woodstock Festival in protest of the commercialized Woodstock '94.
Kupferberg was still working on new projects in the final years of his life, even after a pair of strokes in 2009 meant that he needed nursing care. The Fugs released Be Free: The Fugs Final CD (Part 2) in February of this year.
Kupferberg's work frequently concerned either sex or politics, and his evidenced by such titles as Teach Yourself Fucking and I Say to Masturbate Is Human, to Fuck Divine. In 1966 he penned a satirical pamphlet called 1001 Ways to Beat the Draft (sample: "Become secretary of state"). In recent years, he took to posting clips on his YouTube channel.
Kupferberg is survived by his wife and three children. A cause of death has not been announced.